By Pam B. Morris, author of Smitten Image
Writing paranormal is just like reading paranormal. The essence boils down quite simply … where do you want to live? Ever since I read Tolkien’s The Hobbit and Jules Verne’s Mysterious Island back in seventh grade, I have preferred diving into other worlds inhabited by the exotic and bizarre, whether they be creature, human or a mix of both. There’s a mystifying titillation of extraordinary danger and adventure in a story where, quite literally, anything can happen.
My father subscribed to Analog, a science fiction magazine chockfull of voyages and battles amongst the stars, interactions with alien races and strange experiments in secret laboratories. I couldn’t wait for him to finish each issue and pass it on to me. Growing up, our family didn’t have television except for the year we lived in Minnesota, my first year of sixth grade (yes, I was a repeater). Star Trek aired on Wednesday nights and guess who had violin lessons Wednesday night? Needless to say, I grew to hate violin lessons…
And then I started writing my own adventures with Captain Kirk and his crew on the Enterprise. (I was Chief Science Officer, not Spock.) But having discovered a vast new frontier, reading soon replaced writing as I gobbled down Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov and Arthur Clarke. They gave me that endorphin high that chocolate does now. Then I ventured to Middle Earth and a whole new set of wondrous worlds lay at my fingertips.
Paranormal is a word I call “umbrella slang.” Try looking “paranormal” up in Webster’s. Yep, not there. And yet its parameters embody the immensity of the inexplicable, the unseen, the unquantifiable. Science fiction, fantasy, supernatural, and horror all blend together in a realm of pure creation where boundaries don’t exist. Writing paranormal romance allows me to invent mind-boggling worlds full of characters with limitless potential and a craving for love.
In a way, writing paranormal is like dreaming. The process may be somewhat in your control, but the content grows out of that part of your mind just beyond conscious reach. I adored Joseph Campbell, a giant among thinkers who wrote, along with other brilliant books, The Power of Myth and The Hero’s Journey. He studied mythology and a societies need to invent stories to help translate the mysteries of our human condition. As artists, we writers do the same.
Ideas are born, like myths and dreams, from experiences filtered through our subconscious, the right brain and the far reaches of imagination. Writing in the genre of paranormal lets my creative imagination invent, experiment and find illogical idiosyncrasies in human nature to expand and exploit. Throw in romance and in essence, it becomes the essence of “living large”!